I flew in to Sydney and boy are my arms tired: aches, pains and other messages from my body to me

Hi everyone—last week I had just landed in Sydney Australia and blogged here about how this sabbatical work trip was an opportunity to shake things up. I have the time to focus on exercise and activity of all sorts, some work projects I’ve been wanting to do for months, and pay closer attention to eating the ways I’d like to, with more fruits and vegetables.

Well, it’s one week in, and here is what I have to report: I’m unhappy at the physical shape I’m in. Carrying heavy things (laptop, groceries, etc.) for long distances is super-tiring, and my shoulders hurt.

My right knee, which is sometimes wonky, is rebelling at going down hills and stairs.

I’m sweating up a storm whenever the temperature is above 20C/70F. Tracy blogged about sweating just this week, right here.  All this extra activity is sending me to bed at 10pm (I normally stay up until 11:30pm—midnight).

However, some other effects so far include: My general stress level is much lower than usual. I’m meditating in the mornings.

I’m eating less. I’m eating more of the foods I want to in order to feel like I have a nutritious diet. I have the impression that some of my clothes are a little looser on me (hard to tell, and I have no scale, but we shall see). I’ve started doing some strengthening exercises for my knee and core.

It will be interesting to see how a couple of month of car-free urban living, cycling, walking, taking public transport, and wandering about as a tourist affects this body of mine, I know, I know—small changes are the ones that we can sustain, the ones that are real.

A real benefit of these aches and pains is that my body is giving me some important information, information that it’s easy for me to ignore in my regular, overscheduled, car-enabled life. It’s telling me to get stronger. It’s telling me to eat healthier for me. It may want me to be lighter—we’ll see about that. It is telling me to go to bed and get more sleep.

Okay, okay, body—you’ve got my attention. I’m listening.

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